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iTunes Review

Composer David Lang found the inspiration for Death Speaks by combing though the immense songbook of 19th century Austrian composer Franz Schubert with an eye for lyrics that personified death. Setting the fragments of Schubert’s text to his own music, Lang enlists a roster of artists from the disparate musical worlds of New York City (including My Brightest Diamond vocalist Shara Worden, composer/pianist Nico Muhly, and guitarist Bryce Dessner of The National) to craft a haunting song cycle that gorgeously bridges the gap between contemporary art-music and indie rock. With macabre elegance, Lang’s voice of death (chillingly intoned by Worden) is seductive and fragile, welcoming listeners to join her "in the cool, dark night” with arpeggiated strings, delicate electric guitar, and spectral arrangements. Likely to appeal to listeners far beyond the borders of contemporary classical music, this ambitious piece embodies a transcendent, inventive spirit that—like the subject at hand—defies easy classification.

Customer Reviews

way too cool for the "classical" tag.

David Lang has been taking a fresh direction as of late with his endeavors in vocal music, and 'death speaks', which has wandered into the indie rock side of things, has stumbled upon a truly fascinating sound. Lang has said in the past that the indie rock world is where some of the best "art songs" of today reside. This music feels at once at home under all sorts of genre labels, the least of which being "classical", and perhaps that's David Lang in a nutshell - ever-creative and willing to experiment far outside the lines of even the circles in which he is best known and loved. Don't miss this one: I have a feeling it's the start of a wider pursuit from the DL.

Really good


David David David LANG

BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, only awesome beauty rolls out of Mr Lang. a MUST


Genre: Original Score

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Bryce Dessner is constantly expanding his musical horizons. Whether it's as guitarist for the National, curator of the MusicNOW festival, producer, or composer-in-residence, he's always involved in creating new music, drawing on a diversity of elements and influences, whether it's music of other cultures or styles. Much of his creative energy is sparked by collaborations with other musicians. Dessner and his twin brother Aaron have both played music since childhood. Bryce earned both his Bachelor's...
Full Bio

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Lang: Death Speaks, Bryce Dessner
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Apr 30, 2013

Customer Ratings